The Los Angeles Police Department Thursday announced the arrest of a man suspected of damaging several windows at various locations including a synagogue and Kosher restaurant in the West Los Angeles area, which caused concern that the crimes may have been antisemitic in nature.
Jon Knight Prince was allegedly responsible for 13 separate vandalism crimes that occurred between May 26 and Wednesday in the areas of the 1300 to 1700 block of Westwood Boulevard and the 9200 to 9400 block of Pico Boulevard, according to a police statement.
Among the locations vandalized was Young Israel of Century City, located at 9317 W. Pico Blvd. Security footage showed a perpetrator believed to be Prince attempting to throw a concrete block through the windows of the synagogue about 1 a.m., May 28.
The synagogue’s windows are made of reinforced glass, and the concrete bounced away without causing significant damage. But the attempt raised concerns as it came on the heels of other high-profile antisemitic attacks of Jewish people in the Los Angeles metro area, including the harassment and intimidation of restaurant diners, which ensued in violent altercations, and the pursuit of a visibly identifiable Orthodox man by a caravan of anti-Israel protestors.
Synagogue officials said the man depicted in the video first broke a window at a nearby Kosher restaurant called Pat’s Next Door, then tried to do the same to the synagogue.
Police circulated surveillance images Wednesday of a man believed to be Prince carrying cardboard boxes containing bricks and pieces of concrete near Westwood and Pico boulevards. Detectives were able to connect the incidents by proximity and surveillance evidence, and arrested Prince about 12:45 a.m. Thursday.
Prince was booked for felony vandalism with consideration for the multiple crimes he allegedly committed, prior convictions and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. His bail was set at $325,000.
Conflict between Israel and the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas has increased conflicts throughout the United States, with several synagogues and Jewish institutions across the country being targeted, leaving many communities feeling vulnerable, according to the Community Security Service.